Inquests into deaths of London Bridge terror attack victims to be opened

Inquests into London Bridge terror attack victims Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones are to be opened at the Old Bailey.

Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt, 25, and Ms Jones, 23, were stabbed to death during a prisoner rehabilitation event by convicted terrorist Usman Khan.

Khan, 28, had been given permission to travel from where he was living in Stafford to London for the event on Friday.

Armed with two knives and a fake suicide vest, Khan was tackled on the bridge after beginning his rampage in nearby Fishmongers Hall.

He was shot dead by armed police after being tackled by ex-offenders and officers on the bridge.

On Wednesday, City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt is expected to open and adjourn inquests at the Old Bailey into the two victims’ deaths.

Mr Merritt’s father David has criticised politicians for using his son’s death 'to perpetuate an agenda of hate'. Credit: PA

Afterwards, the coroner will also open and adjourn an inquest into the death of Khan.

Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, was a co-ordinator for Learning Together.

Saskia Jones was a former University of Cambridge student. Credit: PA

It is a programme associated with Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology which aims to bring offenders and people in higher education to study alongside each other.

Programme volunteer Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having "great passion" for providing support to victims of crime by her family.

In a statement, they said: “She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.”

Leanne O'Brien, the girlfriend of Jack Merritt, is comforted by family members during a vigil at The Guildhall in Cambridge. Credit: PA

Mr Merritt’s father David has criticised politicians for using his son’s death “to perpetuate an agenda of hate”.

Three more people were injured in the attack, two of which are said to be in a stable condition in hospital while the third has returned home.

The fresh inquests come just months after the conclusion of the Old Bailey inquests into the deaths of eight innocent people during the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.